New figures from the European Union's statistics agency, Eurostat, show Ireland has the fourth most expensive electricity prices across the 28-country bloc.

Irish households pay an average of 23.1 cent per kilowatt hour of electricity used, which is 13% higher than the EU average.

Only Denmark, Germany and Belgium have higher electricity prices.

When VAT and other taxes are removed from calculations, Ireland, in fact, has the second highest electricity prices in the EU.

In recent weeks, six out of Ireland’s nine electricity suppliers have announced price hikes.

Increases from Bord Gáis Energy and SSE Airtricity took effect on 1 November, increases from Energia, Pinergy and PrePayPower will take effect on 1 December, and Electric Ireland’s increases will take effect on 1 February 2018.

Head of Communications with price comparison website Mark Whelan said it is "very disappointing to see that Ireland is the fourth most expensive country in the EU for electricity - and the second most expensive when taxes are removed.

"There are nine electricity suppliers in the Irish market - a huge number for such a small country - but consumers don't seem to be benefiting from this high level of competition.

"To make matters worse for households, six out of Ireland’s nine suppliers have announced price hikes in recent months, most of which are due to kick in at wintertime, when bills are usually at their biggest," he added.